Most draft analysts gave the Seahawks high marks for their picks, which included trading up twice and choosing three running backs.
The seventh NFL draft of the Pete Carroll/John Schneider era at times veered off their previously charted path.
As Pete Carroll joked when he sat down to meet the media Thursday night “so this is what a first-round news conference feels like’’ a reference to the fact that the team hadn’t needed to hold one since 2012.
Seattle also bucked its usual draft strategy by trading up twice, matching the number of times the Seahawks had done that in the previous six years under Schneider/Carroll.
That Seattle’s 10-player haul received some fairly diverging grades from draft analysts, though, made it business as usual for a team those drafts rarely garner a consensus review. One NFL.com analyst awarded the Seahawks an A (as well as A’s for each of the three days) and ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. a B-plus, while the influential if often-controversial football analytic site Pro Football Focus gave it a C, lower than all but four other teams.
Seahawks in 2016 draft
Round 1, Pick 31
OL Germain Ifedi, Texas A&M | Bio
Round 2, Pick 49
DT Jarran Reed, Alabama | Bio
Round 3, Pick 90
RB C.J. Prosise, Notre Dame | Bio
Round 3, Pick 94
TE Nick Vannett, Ohio State | Bio
Round 3, Pick 97
OL Rees Odhiambo, Boise State | Bio
Round 5, Pick 147
DT Quinton Jefferson, Maryland | Bio
Round 5, Pick 171
RB Alex Collins, Arkansas | Bio
Round 6, Pick 215
C Joey Hunt, TCU | Bio
Round 7, Pick 243
WR Kenny Lawler, Cal | Bio
Round 7, Pick 247
RB Zac Brooks, Clemson | Bio
As always, the true reckoning will come in about three years when it’s clear which players will make the grade in the NFL and which won’t.
For now, a few more thoughts on a draft class whose ultimately legacy will be determined by how well it can help keep the Seahawks a Super Bowl contender.
If there was one consensus about Seattle’s draft it’s that the Seahawks got a steal in taking Alabama defensive tackle Jarran Reed at No. 49 in the second round — a pick made after the first of the Seahawks’ two trades to move up.
Many mock drafts had Reed going in the middle of the first round (with some sending him to Seattle at the Seahawks’ original first-round pick at 26).
Schneider didn’t hesitate to name Reed in his post-draft news conference when asked if there was a player among the 10 the team took that he was surprised to see still available.
The Seahawks said they considered Reed one of 26 players they considered worthy of taking in the first round (which they also said about first-round pick OL Germain Ifedi) and that he was the best run-stuffer available in the draft.
Reed may have the clearest path to a starting spot of any of the 10 players picked as he could step right in to defensive tackle spot to replace Brandon Mebane (who signed with the Chargers as a free agent) working alongside Ahtyba Rubin.
Nothing drew a real “what are they doing?’’ from analysts in a Seattle draft that in some ways was more conventional than many in recent years in how the Seahawks addressed obvious needs while also taking some players they had often been connected to in the past few months.
If anything garnered at least a slight eyebrow raise it was the Seahawks drafting three running backs — Notre Dame’s C.J. Prosise, Arkansas’ Alex Collins and Clemson’s Zac Brooks — more than any other team.
But the number spoke to the importance the team places on the position and wanting to assure it can get the same production going forward that it did during the Marshawn Lynch era. The Seahawks also said they simply found some backs at spots in the draft that were hard to pass up.
• As expected, the Seahawks hit the offensive line hard, drafting one tackle (Ifedi), one guard (Rees Odhiambo) and one center (Joey Hunt). None are regarded as players who are slam dunks to come in and start. But given the uncertainty on Seattle’s offensive line, nothing can be ruled out. The three new draftees join three draft picks from last season (tackle Terry Poole, guard Mark Glowinski and center/guard Kristjan Sokili), two free agent signees (tackle J’Marcus Webb and guard/tackle Bradley Sowell) as well as three returning starters (center Patrick Lewis, guard Justin Britt, tackle Garry Gilliam) to create what will be a pretty heated battle for roster spots.
“We’ll want to get that settled as soon as we can,’’ Carroll said. “…. This is really an exciting time for us because we know that there’s some really good things here and we have to put it together.’’
• 9. That’s the number of players the Seahawks drafted from Power Five college football conferences, including one from each of last year’s national title finalists, Alabama and Clemson. The 10th was from hardly-off-the-beaten-path Boise State.
That was a contrast from previous drafts — in the last three years Seattle drafted players from Buffalo, Towson, Middle Tennessee State, Harding, New Hampshire and Northeastern (Ok.) State.
The Seahawks said there was no intent to draft only from power schools, that it just worked out that way.
Offensive-line coach Tom Cable, though, noted that in the case of Texas A&M grad Ifedi there was value in having played in the notoriously rugged SEC.
“When you play in that particular league, you’re probably more ready in terms of the NFL, coming in as a lineman,’’ he said. “You’re playing in all those big crowds and loud noise against extremely talented pass rushers pretty much every week. The competition won’t phase him a bit.’’
• The work for Seattle hardly ended once the draft did as the Seahawks quickly went about signing a dozen or so undrafted free agents and inviting other players to the team’s rookie minicamp Friday-Sunday.
Getting the most immediate attention were QBs Trevone Boykin of TCU — signed with a reported $15,000 bonus — and Vernon Adams of Oregon, who agreed to come as a tryout player.
A few other names to watch include Ohio State safety Tyvis Powell, whom some regarded as a potential mid-round pick; Wisconsin safety Tanner McEvoy; and Oregon linebacker Christian French, who got a $5,000 bonus and figures to get a look at the open strongside linebacker spot.
|Seahawks draft picks|
|1.||Germain Ifedi, OL||Texas A&M|
|2.||Jarran Reed, DT||Alabama|
|3.||C.J. Prosise, RB||Notre Dame|
|3.||Nick Vannett, TE||Ohio State|
|3.||Rees Odhiambo, OL||Boise State|
|5.||Quinton Jefferson, DT||Maryland|
|5.||Alex Collins, RB||Arkansas|
|6.||Joey Hunt, C||TCU|
|7.||Kenny Lawler, WR||California|
|7.||Zac Brooks, RB||Clemson|